A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


Cosmas Masanja (picutred, right), lecturer at Vi core Tanzanian member, the University of Dar es Salaam Business School, developed lectures for his course on the Economics of Commodities Production and Trade while on a Vi fellowship in Geneva October 29 to December 7.

Masanja, who participated in the Vi regional workshop on natural resources and economic development in 2010, seeks  to reflect his interest in commodity issues in both his teaching and research. The material  prepared during the Vi fellowship will support his university's Master in International Trade programme.

With support from his UNCTAD mentors, Yan Zhang (pictured) and Taro Boel, of UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities, Masanja was able to develop lectures on three specific areas: Commodity production structures in developing countries, financing commodity production and trade, and agricultural commodity price risk management in developing countries. 

Each topic's materials include a reader, PowerPoint lecture presentation and discussion questions for students. All three lectures prominently feature Tanzania's economic context to facilitate the learning process for students.

"My mentors have been ver supportive, I greatly appreciate their contributions," Masanja said. "The fellowship also gave me the possibility to add more knowledge through access to a wide range of commodity data and consultations with UNCTAD experts, and develop new professional and social networks."

He stressed that the fellowship programme should be continued to also give other developing country academics the possibility to benefit from the materials and data available at UNCTAD, and the networking with international experts.

To conclude his fellowship, Masanja met with Lucas Sarnga, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania, to present and discuss the outcome of his stay at UNCTAD, as well as future cooperation with UNCTAD.